Probiotics for diarrhea from radiation therapy

(Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct 24. pii: S0261-5614(13)00274-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.10.015.)

A randomized double-blind controlled trial: Impact of probiotics on diarrhea in patients treated with pelvic radiation.

Demers M, Dagnault A, Desjardins J.

Department of Radio-Oncology, University Health Center, Hôtel Dieu de Québec, Québec, Canada; Department of Clinical Nutrition, University Health Center, Hôtel Dieu de Québec, Québec, Canada. Electronic address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Radical radiation therapy is commonly used for treatment of pelvic cancer. Up to 80% of patients receiving radiotherapy will develop acute radiation induced diarrhea. The primary aim of this randomized double blind controlled trial is to evaluate the effect of the probiotic Bifilact® on moderate and severe treatment-induced diarrhea during pelvic radiation.

Patients with pelvic cancers were treated between 2006 and 2010 at L'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, University Health Center. Some patients had surgery before pelvic radiotherapy and some received chemotherapy. A total of 246 Patients were randomized between a placebo and either of two regiments of double strain Bifilact® probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus LAC-361 and Bifidobacterium longum BB-536): a standard dose twice a day (1.3 billion CFU) or a high dose three times a day (10 billion CFU). Patients were trained to record their digestive symptoms daily with a standardized scale and they met a registered dietician and radiation oncologist every week during treatment. The main analysis compared time to first appearance of grade ≥2-3-4 diarrhea using Kaplan-Meier curves as measured by proportion of patients without moderate and severe diarrhea.

229 patients were analyzed. The difference between the groups for overall grade 2-3-4 diarrhea was not statistically significant (p = 0.13). However at 60 days, the proportion of patients without moderate and severe diarrhea in the standard dose group (35%) was more than twice as high as that of the placebo group (17%) with a hazard ratio of 0.69 (p = 0.04). In patients who had surgery, the standard probiotics dose group had a better proportion of patients without very severe diarrhea than the placebo group, respectively 97% and 74% (p = 0.03). In all groups, the average number of bowel movements per day during treatment was less than 3 soft stools (p = 0.80) and the median abdominal pain less than 1 based on the National Cancer Institute scale (p = 0.23).

Standard dose of Bifilact® may reduce radiation induced grade 2-3-4 diarrhea at the end of the treatment of patients with pelvic cancer. In patients operated on before RT, a standard dose of probiotics may reduce radiation induced grade 4 diarrhea. Nutritional interventions by a registered dietician seemed to reduce global digestive symptoms.

Probiotics and Bacterial Vaginosis

Akush Ginekol (Sofiia). 2013;52(3):19-26.

Efficacy of combined 5-nitroimidazole and probiotic therapy of bacterial vaginosis

The aim of the current research is to identify the clinical and microbiological effect of 5-nitroimidazol therapy for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis and in combination with probiotics and the influence of such therapy upon vaginal flora.

Women (n = 539) with bacterial vaginosis who meet the criteria were included in the study. They were randomized into two groups with the following therapeutic regimes: in the first group (n = 242 women) the treatment included applications of 2g BID tinidazole for two days and vaginal suppositories of 1000 mg metronidazol at day 1 and 3 (T+M). In the second group (n = 297) the women were cured with the same treatment as those in the first group. In addition to it from the fifth day of the treatment was added a topical administration of vaginal probiotic which contains species of alive lactobacilli: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus (T+M+P). The efficacy from the therapy was evaluated using the clinical compliances of the women, the data from the clinical examination and the microbiological tests results.

The results showed expected increase of clinical therapy efficacy (Amsel - criteria) from 42.8% (T+M; n = 211/242) to 84.06% (T+M+P; n = 274/297) in groups and of microbiological efficacy (Nugent) from 44.7% (T+M; n = 211/242) to 83.3% (T+M+P; n = 274/297), in follow up 35-40 days from the beginning of treatment. The percentage of women with normal vaginal flora on 35-40 day after the therapy increase with 57% in the (T+M) first group while in the second group (T+M+P) with 94%.

Combining the therapies of 5-nitroimidazoles and vaginal probiotic reduce bacterial vaginosis recurrence and restores permanently normal vaginal flora.

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